Belfast Telegraph

New boost for social enterprises

By Lesley Houston

A new consortium to bolster Northern Ireland's social economy sector has been unveiled.

Social Enterprise NI will help develop socially-minded businesses that channel their profits back into the community.

The new consortium will provide a platform for developing firms which share its rewards throughout society, in the style of Jamie Oliver's London restaurant, Fifteen, and Northern Ireland's Bryson Charitable Group, the East Belfast Mission and ITEC.

Launched yesterday at Belfast's MAC, it aims to promote further growth within the sector and to highlight the significant contribution social enterprises make to the local economy.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has committed £150,000 to the consortium for the first year, with the potential to provide two more years of funding.

Programme director Juliet Cornford said the new platform provided an opportunity to act as a representative voice for the sector.